1953 ... Shot: Grable (Atomic Cannon)

... 15 kiloton at 525 feet... "These clips are from shot Grable, the Atomic Cannon test in 1953 showing the initial burst and shockwave. Identified also are the various vehicles on the desert floor which are very, very tiny compared to the fireball of the blast. There are cars, jeeps, buses and tanks under the blast area."


1960 ... 'Camp Century'

... a major part of the spookieness of the Cold War was all the secret and stupendous stuff going on in the Arctic. ( think 'The Thing' from 1951) 'Camp Century' was a major construction project by the US Army in Greenland. The true purpose was to study the feasibility of hiding nuclear tipped ICBMs under the ice. Consideration was also given to having mobile launcher systems that could move the missiles around in frozen tunnels.

In the end US nuclear forces found out the hard way that all that ice was not stable. It was slowly moving and shifting which eventually destroyed all the construction work.

... here's another scary story set in the freezing darkness of a remote Arctic base. 
'The Human Factor' from the original 'Outer Limits'.

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1960 ... 'Camp Century' documentary

... not the "rapture"

... it seems that a common myth about Nuclear Warfare is that victims are instantly vaporized. POOF! A hydrogen bomb is detonated and the entire population of a city is zorched out of existence. Perhaps it's a hold-over of the special effects from "The Day After".

The reality would be that, except for a small percentage of people at or near ground zero, the vast majority of casualties would be burned, cut and broken. Death would not be quick. Suffering would be terrible. The wounded would far exceed the dead. Many would linger for hours or days before death.

Aside from radiation; the blast of an atomic weapon, although huge, is not categorically different from a conventional explosion. The initial pulse of hard radiation caused by the nuclear reaction would cause instant death, or death within a few hours, only within the radius of the 'fireball'. Inside of that area death would be instantaneous from heat anyway.

Fallout; debris sucked-up and irradiated by the explosion takes some time to start falling back to earth. Radiation levels with-in the zone of blast destruction would be relatively low
for minutes- even hours.

These are important facts for consideration. The decision to take shelter and where, when and how has a lot to do with who is injured and who is not. It is fanciful and dangerous superstition to think choosing to not seek shelter means a brave and quick death.

... expoldo-floato-head effect!

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... Blackbird as 'fighter'!

... in 1963 the USAF went through serious exploration of adapting the A-12 (later called the SR-71 'Blackbird') into a Mach 3 longe-range interceptor. Tests were made with the AIM-47 'Falcon' air-to-air missile. The existence of the fighter-interceptor test program was also used as a cover for the primary use of the 'Blackbird' as a spy-plane. On 14 May 1965 the Air Force placed a production order for 93 F-12Bs for its Air Defense Command. But in the end only three YF-12s were built. One crashed and two were used by NASA for research.

... ignorance is dangerous!

... it is not surprising that during decades of fear and constant tension; Nuclear Weapons would accumulate their own mythology and superstition. Their power is often referred to a "beyond comprehension". Atomic War is talked about with Biblical comparisons like Doomsday or Armageddon. Few people choose to delve into the science of nuclear physics or consider the complex political maze of "mutual assured deterrence".

But knowledge is better than ignorance. Knowledge makes for better, more rational decisions. Knowledge is safer.

(after writing the above grand and glorious statement: I stopped to realize that the blogspot of 'Atomic Annihilation' is a rather specialized interest. The majority of 'my readers' are not here because they made a mistake while looking for "Vegas girls gone wild". So to you my brethren I say; "Go forth and educate the masses. Yeh - lecture them in half-life decay and the Teller-Ulam theory. Recite the long line of the descendants of MIRV and NIKE. Fight back against the forces of fatalism and sarcasm.")

1958 ... research reactors!

... General Atomics is famous these days for it's 'Predator' drone!

1964 ... Coded Radio Monitor!

... among the many legends surrounding the 1964 Cold War black comedy "Dr. Strangelove" is the amazing detail in the scenes of the interior of the B-52 strategic bomber. The technical realism was due to production designer Ken Adam's WWII service with the RAF. Adams remained in contact with pilot friends who continued in the service and presumably helped him 'imagine' the workings of the airborne electronics needed to arm and deliver hydrogen bombs. Britain having it's own fleet of nuclear 'V-Bombers'.

Kubrick is reported to have been worried about Adam's degree of accuracy leading to all of them being rounded up by the CIA or MI6. Of particular interest is the device on-board Major Kong's 'Stratofortress' which is responsible for receiving the 'go-code' for a nuclear attack. The 'CRM-114' even has it's own Wikipedia page. If you look closely it has an ID plate with the 'Endix' corp. as the manufacturer. Bendix was a major producer of advanced electronics for the USAF

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1964 ... scale model: 'War Room' !

... perhaps from the fabled Stanley Kubrick Archives? A scale model of the 'War Room' from "Dr. Strangelove".

1962 ... choose a missile!

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1964 ... "Dr. Straneglove"

... the amazing sets of Ken Adams are a creative foundation and inseparable contribution to the success of the classic Cold War black-comedy "Dr. Stranglove".

Previous to 'Strangelove' he had worked on the first James Bond movie "Dr. No"
and continued to work on 6 more 'Bond' films.